Portland Classic. Korean Kim Cruzin On.

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Korean I.K. Kim is cruzin along at the Portland Classic, establishing a three stroke lead.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim. / AP photo

I.K. recorded a second round -5 under par 67 to post a -12 under par tournament total at the half-way stage of the Portland Classic. A couple of bogey’s on the day stifled what could have been a very commanding lead;

 “It’s only Friday. I’m really pleased how I played the last two days, and the weekend, I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t really think about leading. You never know until the last day on Sunday, last back nine.”

Keeping her in sight are three Ladies, who share second placing at -9 under par for the tournament, Mi Jung Hur, Carlota Ciganda and Laura Diaz are all wondering if I.K. will let up on the pressure.

Apart from her placing at the golf tournament Mi Jung just loves shopping in Oregon, no sales tax;

“I’m so comfortable with this town, especially I love the shopping in Oregon, there’s no sales tax. I love it. My American parents and I just talked to about it, I met them maybe ‘05, back in Pumpkin Ridge. I played the U. S. women’s amateur. And I met them.”

“Like today I tried to focus on my each shot. Like if you’re on the teeing ground, just try to focus on driver and then if you go to fairway, try to focus on the iron shot like this.”

“Because I read the interview from So Yeon Ryu from last week. She did like that. You know, when I won this tournament back on ‘09, that’s what I did at the time. Shot by shot. And then like today I just did it. So that’s why I had a good round today.”

Laura has played 36 holes at Columbia Edgewater Country Club without a bogey to her card, and loves seeing her name at the top of the leaderboard;

”I mean you know, you prepare as much as you can prepare, but I think that I’ve been away for a long time from that position, and it was definitely a learning and growing experience.”

 “I learned a lot from that week. It wasn’t the result that I wanted obviously, but I’m staying patient and just trying to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself at all.”

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen admits that she has not played her best golf, yet;

“I haven’t played my best the last two days. Really happy to be able to shoot five under on the back nine to put myself somewhere close in the mid pack of the field.”

Played better on the back nine. But I don’t know if it’s just the fourth week that I’m tired, but grinding it out. I’m finding solutions out there.”

 

Deutsche Bank Championship. 63 puts Ryan Palmer in Front.

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Ryan Palmer has placed himself in front of the field in the Deutsche Bank Championship carding a first round 63.

Deuitsche Bank Championship

Ryan Palmer / Getty Images

Ryan’s -8 under par 63 opening round has given him a shot lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. His flawless 63 upstaged local boy Keegan Bradley who had enthralled the partisan gallery with an early morning round of -6 under par 65, which had him on top of the leaderboard for most of the day.

 

Ryan needed only 21 putts during the day, his putter was certainly hot, rolling in an 18 footer on the final hole, he is hoping for a Ryder Cup pick;

“I don’t know what to say about it. It was one of my best rounds of the year for sure, I don’t think I’ve ever had 21 putts in one round. It’s been building all year. I keep telling myself something is going to happen.”

“I’ve been putting good for a while. My short putting has been good; my lag putting has been better than it has been in the past. It’s been a matter of hitting the iron shots close, giving myself more chances, and I was able to do that today.”

” Tom Watson keeps saying that he wants hot players, guys that are playing well at the end. I feel like I’ve got a shot. I told (assistant captain) Andy North, I’m going to make it hard on you guys this week.”

Keegan had to settle for second place, and is constantly thinking about the Ryder Cup, day and night;

“Every second,  when I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about it. When I wake up, I’m thinking about it. When I’m on the course, I’m thinking about it. But I’ve just made the decision that it’s going to come up and I’m not going to try to block it out.”

“I’m just going to try to embrace it and be aware of those thoughts. The more I try not to think about it the more it comes in. I’m just embracing it.”

Jason Day, Webb Simpson and Chesson Hadley share third place after their opening rounds of -5 under par 66.

Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker, the top three in the FedExCup standings last week were grouped together on Friday.

Rory carded -1 under par 70, the same as Jimmy while Hunter, last weeks winner, could only post +2 over par 73. Phil Mickelson fell to +3 over par 74,  he has qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola every year of his more than two decades on the PGA TOUR, that streak looks in serious jeopardy this season.

Ladies Scottish Open. Trish Johnson Leads.

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Trish Johnson leads the Ladies Scottish Open in East Lothian.

Ladies Scottish Open

Trish Johnson and amateur partner Alan Hanse, on the left / Getty Images

Trish opened with a first round -6 under par 66 at the Ladies Scottish Open, where a Pro/Am team event runs concurrently with the Ladies singles. In the blustery conditions Trish managed to give herself a three shot lead, which was pretty amazing as she is recovering from a back injury;

“To be honest I didn’t have huge expectations this week because I haven’t practised for a week and I had a bit of a tough situation with my back but I think that probably helped me in the end because low expectations was better.”

“I started with three birdies, which was nice, rolled a good birdie at the first and a two-putt birdie at the second and a four or five footer at the third, so that was good for the confidence. I knocked it stiff at the fifth so I was four under and I didn’t do an awful lot wrong. I made a bogey on seven, but that was a monstrous hole today, playing straight into the wind. “

The back nine played really well and I putted really well. I picked up an old putter out of the garage that a friend was using, a two-ball putter, so I asked if I could use it and that’s the best I’ve putted in donkey’s years, so let’s hope it continues.”

This is the fifth and final year of the tournament at Archerfield Links, and Trish would like to get a win in the event, although in the 2013 competition, Trish and amateur partner Alan Hansen won the team competition;

The first year I was pretty unlucky because the last three holes, the heavens opened and it was straight into the teeth of the wind and I had a two shot lead and bogeyed the last three holes to lose by one.”

“Two years ago, I was seven under after 11 holes and I think I had the lead, when Carly won, and I got a flier out of the rough on 14 and made double and then played very poorly coming in. I’d like to think experience holds some hope for me but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s confidence. I like the golf course and I hope I can continue to play well for the next couple of rounds.”

Anne-Lise Caudel holds second place on her own at -3 under par, while three Ladies share third place at -2 under par. The team event is led by Nikki Campbell and amateur partner Corbett at -10 under par.

Italian Open. Otto Hennie Takes Control.

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South African Otto Hennie takes control of the Italian Open in Torino, Italy.

Italian Open

Otto Hennie / Getty Images

Otto carded a stunning second round of -10 under par 62 at Circolo Golf Torino to post a mid way tournament score at -15 under par, a three shot lead.

Otto told reporters that although it was special to shoot 62, the thought of 59 never entered his head;

“It’s always special to shoot a 62 but a 59 never even crossed my mind. I didn’t really think about my score until my caddie said if I made par on 17 we would have been on course for a ten under par round.”

“I really played well, hit some good shots and the greens were running well so you were able to make some putts. Something about courses in Italy suits my eye and it would be great to win the tournament. Hopefully I can keep it up and keep going over the weekend.”

Bernd Wiesberger is in second place, three shots back at -12 under par after recording a very respectable -6 under par 66, and Ross Fisher is in third place at -9 under par, he also scored -6 under par 66 in his second round.

Stephen Gallacher needs to finish in the top two on Sunday to move into the last automatic pick for the Ryder Cup, which would knock out Graeme McDowell. The task was made even harder when Otto had posted his second round score before he had even teed off, he responded well carding -7 under par 65, but it still leaves him a long way back at T9;

“When you tee it up 15 and 12 behind you know you’re going to have to be more aggressive and make some birdies so I was delighted to shoot 65 with a double bogey in the end”

“It would be nice to follow it up with more of the same. I knew I had to go low at some stage and I’m just delighted to get on a run on the back nine. I don’t think I could say on air what I was thinking when I saw the leaderboard at lunch.”

“It was a strange feeling. I was looking at the guy who was second to be honest to try and catch him up a bit and a couple more 65s at the weekend and we will see what happens. There are two more rounds and a lot can happen in golf. Just to be in with a shout on Sunday is all you can ask.”

Italian favorite Francesco Molinari could only manage a second round of even par 72, he is now T16 at -6 under par for his National tournament;

“It’s a step back but there are two more days so let’s see what happens at the weekend. It’s a course that’s hard to go under par day after day, if you miss a few fairways you can get into trouble.”

 

 

 

LPGA. Portland Classic. Korean Kim Leads Classic.

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Korean  I.K. Kim leads the Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim / Getty Image

I.K. shot an opening round of -7 under par 65, to lead the Portland Classic by one shot

“Today I hit the ball well and made some putts coming down. This is really good golf course. You have to hit the good shots and also make putts. There’s a couple of tricky pins, but I was able to manage.”

“So I’m very pleased with how I finished. Solid round, yeah, my game’s feeling good. Just need to keep playing.”

“Seems like every week it’s like 66, 65, so I didn’t really thought about scoring that much. With this golf course you just gotta play your game, and then you get rewarded.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are two Americans, Amelia Lewis and Jennifer Song,.

Jennifer, who played the course backwards left herself a 50 ft putt on her last hole of the day, the 9th. She drained it for birdie;

“Well, I wasn’t expecting to make it. I knew it was going to be a fast putt, so I just told myself to get the pace right and just get it near the proximity of the hole, and it just went in. I just lucked out.”

“I had a wonderful day today. I was making a lot of putts out there, and then my short game was sharp, so I didn’t have a lot of long birdie putts. Most of them were tap-ins. I just played great today.”

“It’s pretty important, but when I came out here, I try not to think about it, because if I think about like trying to get in the Asia events, it’s thinking about the future. So just trying to play my own game out there and just be in my zone and take it one day at a time.”

Amelia confessed to be working on a new swing, just tweaking things around, it seemed to be working OK;

I’ve been working on my swing a little bit and tweaking a few things, and now it’s coming back and working out. So it’s going to be a good end of the year.”

There are seven Ladies tied in fourth place at -5 under par, one of them Alison Walshe has also been working on her game with her old  University of Arizona, coach, Michael Haywood;

“To be honest, and we kind of had a little epiphany about something I’ve changed, and we kind of went back to what was working then, which I don’t know why I ever kind of went away from it.”

“We kind of grinded the first two days, and I just had to trust it, and I did. And actually hit some really good shots, so it was kind of refreshing.”

“We really looked at pictures. I’m not one to hugely look at video, but we noticed my grip was really strong in college, and I almost have a borderline really weak grip now, which trying to get to a spot, it’s pretty hard for that position.”

This is another of those tight tournaments and any silly mistake could be very costly.

 

Italian Open. Molinari Flying The Home Flag.

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Francesco Molinari is flying the home flag in the first round of the Italian Open in Torino Italy.

Italian Open

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco shot an opening round of -6 under par 66, he was joined at the top of the leaderboard on that score by Bernd Wiesberger.

Francesco has a Ryder Cup spot on his mind after European Team Captain Paul McGinley admitted Francesco is “very much in my mind” for one of the three wild cards that he will announce on Tuesday;

I had a chat with Paul when he got here and I think the good thing is that he knows what I can bring to the team because he has seen me as vice-captain on the last two teams.”

But it’s up to me to prove that I really want it and am playing well enough. I think anything less than a win would not be enough so I have to aim for that.”

Bernd, a two-time European Tour winner has plenty of Gleneagles experience, capturing fourth place in the Johnnie Walker Championship their last year, he also spoke about the Ryder Cup;

Paul knows I play well at Gleneagles and I like the course, but I am pretty far down the list (23rd) and even if I win it would be a surprise to get that call on Tuesday.” 

“The first three days at Valhalla gave me a lot of confidence knowing I could get into that position and be in the last group in a Major. I probably should have tried to make more of a move in the final round but I didn’t drive the ball that well that day and couldn’t really get it going.

“It was actually the first time I have had a really good performance in America as well so it was a big, big week for me and a pretty cool experience to be out so late on a Sunday in a Major.”

There are five players all tied at -5 under par for the tournament; American John Hahn, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin, Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, England’s Richard Bland and South African Hennie Otto.

Stephen Gallacher, another Ryder Cup hopeful headed straight to the range after an opening round that featured four birdies and four bogeys, posting an even par round of 72;

“I’m a bit disappointed because I threw away a couple of shots midway through my round, but it’s okay for the first day and I am only one good score away from the top of the leaderboard.” 

“I know I have to finish first or second, that’s not going to change, so I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Once you get out on the course you just try to birdie every hole. That’s the easy part. It’s when you finish you think about the Ryder Cup.”

 

The Barclays. Heroic Hunter Wins It.

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An heroic last round wins The Barclays for Hunter Mahan at Ridgewood Country Club.

The Barclays

Hunter and Family / Getty Images

Hunter put together a final round -6 under par 65 to taste sweet victory in The Barclays with a winning total of  -14 under par, a two shot margin over the chasers.

The family turned up unexpectedly to share in the celebrations, which was a great occasion, and Hunter hopes Tom Watson was taking note;

“To get a win in an event like this and the timing, it feels unbelievable, so I’m extremely proud of myself. I felt great the last few weeks, my game was starting to come around. I knew this was around the corner, but to do it, and to do it today with a 65, feels great.”

“I have no idea what he’s thinking or if he has any sort of strategy, but I think a win is a good step in the right direction. I just felt good about how I was playing going into this week, I just stayed calm in my head.”

“This means a lot and this is kind of the biggest win in the sense of what comes with it, having a chance to win the FedEx Cup, a lot has changed from Saturday and Sunday, that’s for sure.”

“I think every player dreams about that, when you have a child, for them to come out on the green. It wasn’t the last group or anything but felt good to see them. They always make everything special.” 

Hunter’s wife Kandi and daughter Zoe just knew they had to be there;

“It’s just great to be together no matter what, and if Hunter did win, we’d definitely wanted to be there. So we decided we wanted to go. Me and Zoe decided we wanted to go.”

Three players tied for second position at -12 under par for the tournament, Cameron Tringale, Jason Day and Stuart Appleby. Stuart also carded a -6 under par 65 to elevate himself up the leaderboard and post the leading score in the clubhouse when he finished.

Jason, who is recovering from a thumb injury is in fine form at the moment;

“I definitely had a shot today, it’s so close. Like it’s just in my fingertips and I can touch it. But Hunter played that much better than all of us and he deserves to win. When you play great on the back nine on a Sunday in a Playoff event, you’re doing something right.” 

“You’ve just got to take your hat off to him because he played well to win the tournament. I didn’t lose it, which was a good thing. I played well, tried my best and wasn’t good enough.”

“I really want to give it a shot at winning the FedExCup. That’s the ultimate goal, and you can’t do that without winning tournaments.”

Cameron celebrated his 27th birthday in style, with a final round -5 under par 66, which should have been better, a bogey on the last cost him second place on his own;

“I just played with a peace that surpassed understanding today, I didn’t feel nervous out there. I felt comfortable and I felt like I was in control of what was going on. I’ve just got so much to be grateful for; no matter how this day turned out, it was going to be awesome.”

Lets not go into the Jim Furyk saga.